Saturday, May 30, 2015

Random Photo: Neighborhood Parks

From April 24, 2015 . . .

Such sad looking magnolias!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Skywatch Friday 104

Skies from a gloomy April 29 . . . They don't look much better today, with rain moving through the area.

LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesday 261: Curses!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

This week’s teaser is from Curses! by Aaron Elkins, an anthropological mystery set in the Yucatan.

He came perilously close to slipping on the uneven stones, righted himself and some gawky flapping with his long arms, and continued coming down with more care. "My God," Gideon heard him murmur again. "Oh, dear Lord."

This, Gideon said to himself, is not going to be good news.

(Chapter 4)

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

He twisted farther away, but he knew he was frighteningly close to the end of the wall. Sightless, he grabbed at the pavement with his left hand to steady himself, but it wasn’t there; his arm dropped sickeningly down into nothing. He was at the very edge, sprawled on his belly, hanging over a sheer forty-foot drop to a ledge of stone.

(Chapter 11)


Gideon [Oliver] is enlisted by his mentor to travel to the Yucatan Peninsula and inspect a skeleton in the reopened ruins of the archaeological dig at Tlaloc. Gideon had worked the dig five years earlier, when a colleague of dubious repute discovered a fabulously rare and valuable Mayan codex—and subsequently made off with it, to parts unknown.

But now an eerie new element has cast its spell over the dig. Shortly before Gideon’s arrival, a set of Mayan hieroglyphs was discovered by the scientific team. Once translated, they reveal a series of ancient curses that threaten to destroy all desecrators of the site.

The steamy jungles weigh down upon the band of eccentric anthropologists as one by one the curses materialize among their party. Gideon’s special talents for deduction are brought into play to decipher murderous mysteries of the present . . . of five years past . . . and those much more ancient.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Random Photo: Tulips

Seen on one of my walks around the neighborhood . . .

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Friday Skywatch 103

We had some pretty impressive and ever-changing skies last Sunday (17 May), as showers and thunderstorms moved through the area. We started with partly sunny skies, then had heavy rain mid-afternoon. Then the skies were the clearest they'd been all day before more clouds accumulated. It looked like we were going to get hit hard again when I took these, but it somehow skipped right over us.

LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday

Thursday Thirteen 281: Curtis Prairie

Last Friday, 19 May, I spent the afternoon at the UW Arboretum. Skies were mostly cloudy, but it was warm and a bit humid -- not a bad day for a long walk. Here are a few pics from Curtis Prairie, where I started my visit.

It's that time of year when the prairie is becoming greener day by day, and there is something new coming up every week. What you see today may not be there a day or two later (such as bluets), while some species bloom for several weeks.

Looking out over Curtis Prairie, UW Arboretum

Eastern Shooting Star

Looking west towards Curtis Pond, UW Arboretum

Wood Betony

One of the narrower trails through Curtis Prairie --
this one is a short loop near Curtis Pond

Yellow Star Grass

Bluets, also known as Quaker Ladies.

Wild Strawberry

Leafy Spurge

Golden Alexander

Cream Indigo -- this is the only one I saw, but it won't be long before the prairies are covered with it.

Another path across Curtis Prairie. Be careful on this boardwalk, especially
after it rains -- it was squishing and moving under my feet.

Looking across Curtis Prairie towards the Leopold Pines

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Skywatch Friday 102

Some late April skies (from some of our sunnier days) . . .

Looking over Curtis Prairie towards the Visitor Center, UW Arboretum

Lost City Forest, UW Arboretum

Magnolia in full bloom, Longenecker Gardens/UW Arboretum

Last of the Daffodils, friend's yard

Afternoon Moon over the Treetops

LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday

Thursday Thirteen 280: Spring Walk Through the Arb

I thought I would share a few photos from a walk through the Arboretum in late April. Though the prairies were still predominantly brown, woodland flowers were starting to come up in forested sections, and Longenecker Gardens was (still is!) a riot of blooms. As always, click on any photo for a better view.

This was on the edge of Curtis Prairie --
 not sure what it is, but it was pretty!

Looking out over Curtis Prairie

Another view of Curtis Prairie

A family of turtles was sunning themselves at Teal Pond.

More green, growing stuff on the prairie!

Trout Lily

Sandhill Crane -- one of a nesting pair in the Wetlands.

Trail through Lost City Forest. This paved section is all that remains
of a failed land development. Nature is slowly reclaiming it.

Seen above a mail box on Arboretum Drive -- there are a few streets
of houses that are technically inside the Arboretum. 

Rhododendron, Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

Toothwort, Gallistal Woods

A trio of turkeys bid me farewell as I exited through Grady Tract.
I saw a total of six turkeys, a hawk, an owl, and two cranes this day --
plus a plethora of beautiful giant blue dragonflies.

Magnolia, Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen